Dentists have been encouraging their patients to floss with dental floss daily for more than 100 years. However, recent reports have shed some doubt as to whether flossing provides any benefits to your dental health. These reports state that there is no clear evidence showing that flossing does anything to promote better oral health. Could it be that you have been flossing all these years for nothing? Well, not according to the experts.
What does the evidence say on flossing?
The Associate Press recently reported that previous research done to prove the benefits of flossing is flawed or that flossing with dental floss doesn’t have a significant impact on oral health. While dental experts agree that there has not been enough research done into the benefits of flossing, it doesn’t mean that flossing is not beneficial. The Australian Dental Association stands firm in its ongoing recommendation to floss on a daily basis and considers flossing an “essential for good dental care.”
How flossing helps
Flossing helps to access the space between teeth where your standard toothbrush cannot reach. Without flossing, the belief is that food and bacteria can build up in these areas and over time cause tooth decay and gum disease, such as gingivitis. For years, experts have agreed that the combination of daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups is key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. These experts believe that the lack of formal research data doesn’t discredit the benefits of flossing.
The importance of flossing properly
Sceptics of flossing often point out the risks involved in flossing, when done improperly. It is true that if you don’t use the dental floss properly, you do risk damaging your gums, teeth or some types of dental work. This is why it is crucial to learn how to floss your teeth properly and to teach your children the correct method as well. The Australian Dental Association provides valuable advice on how to gently floss with the correct action.
All our patients are educated in the correct use of floss or the alternatives to floss, such as interdental brushes.
While current research on the benefits of flossing may be inconclusive, there is also no conclusive evidence to show that flossing is pointless. When done properly, flossing on a daily basis is very safe and will help to remove unwanted debris and bacteria from between your teeth in an effort to avoid plaque build-up.
Your dentist and dental hygienist are always available to discuss the types of dental floss available and the correct technique for effective flossing. Contact our friendly reception staff today to make an appointment.